Locals face hardship as road project in Janakpur keeps missing deadlineThe Postal Highway Directorate is once again set to extend the project deadline by a year.
The construction of the Kadamchowk-Kamala section of the Postal Highway in Janakpur started in 2016, but it is far from complete. The road that connects Janakpur to Kamala Municipality has turned into a mud road because of rainfall last week.
Locals are facing problems in their daily commute because of the delay in the construction.
Jaya Prakash Mahato, a resident of Kamala who travels to Janakpur daily, is at his wit’s end trying to make his way through the sludge-filled road section.
“I teach at a boarding school in Janakpur. Travelling through that road every day is a nightmare,” said Mahato.
According to the project office of the Postal Highway Directorate in Janakpur, the total length of the Kadamchowk-Kamala road section is 30.58 kilometres. The contractor company, Lama/Raman Construction Company JV, on July 15, 2016, had agreed to blacktop 25 kilometres of the road by the end of the last fiscal year. Meanwhile, Dhukuchu Construction Pvt. Ltd, another contractor company, in July 2017 had agreed to construct the remaining 5.58 kilometres of the road by mid-January 2019. But the construction work is far from complete.
Rajendra Das, chief at the Janakpur Postal Highway Project Office, said only 55 percent of the construction work has been completed so far.
“The project office extended the deadline time and again, but the construction work has not gained momentum,” said Das. “The contractor companies cite locals’ obstruction and lack of construction materials for the delay.”
According to the project office of the Postal Highway Directorate, the office is going to extend the deadline for the construction work by a year again.
“Only 11 kilometres of the road has been blacktopped so far. We have no choice but to extend the deadline,” Das said. The total cost of the project is Rs700 million, according to the project office of the Postal Highway Directorate. The Post tried to contact the representatives of the contractor companies, but they were not available for comment.
The Kadamchowk-Kamala section of the Postal Highway is the shortest way to connect the eastern villages of Dhanusha district with Siraha district’s headquarters.
“During monsoons, we have no other option but to use the Jayanagar-Jatahi route on the Indian side to reach Janakpur, as the road gets muddy during rainfall,” said Mahato.